Lawyers Guild Holds 'Legal Observer Training' Ahead of Aug. 12 Rally

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at UVA School of Law, room for legal observer training at UVA School of Law, room for legal observer training

A national group is calling on people to support Charlottesville during the "Unite the Right" event on Aug. 12.

"There are a lot of ways that folks can sort of step up and support the community leading up to the 12th,” Andrew Mahler of the National Lawyers Guild said.

The National Lawyers Guild held a program at the University of Virginia School of Law Sunday afternoon to train people on how to "legally observe" protests. On Aug. 12, a group of white activists plan to rally at Emancipation Park.

According to the Guild, a legal observer is not a demonstrator, but someone who acts as a third party to witness events that may happen during a protest including fights and arrests.

"It'll be a long haul and that's why we're trying to train as many legal observers as possible who are willing to be there to support community members and just sort of chronicle, document and observe what happened. So it'll be a long day,” Mahler said.

The Guild hosted training in Richmond Saturday, and is planning to lead additional classes in Charlottesville this summer for those who want to become a certified legal observer.

The group did not allow NBC29 to enter the classroom Sunday because members say they wanted to protect observers that did not want their identities on camera.

Dozens of people attended the class Sunday.